Title: Arrived Too Late
Summary: Frankie reads a letter from Madison.
Warnings: Contains spoilers for the week of Oct. 19th
Disclaimer: I don't own AMC or any of its characters.
Frankie shouldn't be shocked by the news but for some reason that he doesn't want to face it. He's absolutely thrown when Madison's father reveals that she's dead. After a family dinner, Jesse had been the one to answer the knock at the door, still laughing at a joke Angie had told while heading into the kitchenette with Randi and dirty dishes. James Beardsley is very indifferent when he talks about her suicide, being unable to handle the conditions of confinement and solitude. If Frankie's stomach wasn't already occupied in his chest, he would have been sick listening to the elder. His own daughter is dead and he continues to berate her, even when she's not around to hear it. A fact her father probably hates.
Frankie clears his throat before interjecting, "I thought that she was on watch?"
"Supposedly she was. I assure you, the institution will be facing quite the lawsuit. I had no plans to share the gory details but I figured that you all will be reading it in the papers soon enough. Madison's guard found her hanging from the ceiling. She had used her bedsheets." James states after a pause. "She was always into dolls and tiaras as a child. I had no idea that she could even tie a knot."
"Your daughter just died and you're questioning her girl scout abilities? I know that you two weren't close, Mr. Beardsley but…"
"Don't presume to know anything about the relationship I shared with my daughter." His voice is like ice, cold and unmovable.
Frankie notices that he has Madison's eyes but he's unable to sense anything behind them. No sorrow, regret, grief or longing. Nothing.
Angie wraps her fingers around her son's, calmly taking a stance in the tension between the two men. "We're all on edge here; it's certainly no time for fighting." She gestures to her family with an arm, "We offer our condolences. Madison was…she was a handful but she didn't deserve this."
No one agrees or disagrees because again, it's not the time.
James nods, a few beats later places his leather briefcase onto the kitchen island. "Madison has written," he opens the locks, "letters for all of you. My guess is that they're apologies of some kind."
"She was looking for redemption," Randi comments when James hands her the first envelope before moving on to her husband.
Frankie looks at her and opens his mouth but no words come out. He's not truly sure of what to say. However, it looks like Madison was filled with words in her final moments, enough to think of his family and ask for forgiveness. He doesn't intend to analyze that because the truth is in his hands. Everything else doesn't matter.
Late that night, Frankie's nursing himself with a beer in the living room, staring at the letter like it's his world and beacon. He had gathered enough courage to take it out of the envelope but the parchment was still folded, waiting to be read. His parents and Randi has read theirs aloud as soon as Mr. Beardsley had bid his goodbye, feeling no type of privacy. Her words had been filled with remorse, completely apologetic.
He reaches for the letter, swallows his dread and mentally kicks himself because he owes her this much.
I don't really know what to say to you. I know that you're going to be the hardest. I want to start out by saying how sorry I am for the pain I put you and your family through. I really hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me because I mean it so much. More than you could ever know. But I think that you get the idea. Frankie, you are my truest friend—my only. I hold you incredibly close to my heart, almost too close for comfort but I find it impossible to put you anywhere else. I know that there have been many times that I've been dishonest with you but please know that you're the only one in this world who knows my truths. I was so surprised when I found that I could tell you my secrets and deepest hurts so easily, unbidden from my lips. I've never felt such a connection with anyone else. I've never meet anyone with as gentle and caring a soul. As annoying as I am, you always seemed to have tolerance for me and I can't thank you enough for that. When I was a little girl, my mother would tell me how stubborn I was. So feisty and fiery that the devil wouldn't touch me. You made me feel as if that was okay. Always with the "P.S. – However, don't take it out on others to make yourself feel better." It's like you came to this earth with a guidebook to all things Madison Beardsley.
I meant what I said in the hospital. I never meant to hurt you, not ever. At first, it was about revenge. The goal was easy, getting back at your wife because my husband cherished her above me. But you complicated things because I ended up wanting you. Your family is everything I've ever hoped, dreamed and prayed for. Angie is the woman I wish I could be, Jesse is the protective and loving father I've always wanted and Randi...well she has the man I never knew existed until it was too late. Frankie, I felt like I belonged in your world. I still feel that way.
I think that I've come to know a little bit about you, Franklin Hubbard. So this may be pointless and you may not listen but please don't feel guilty, okay? Don't. I mean it. This game was started by me and it's up for me to end it.
Honor me by keeping up with that passion and fire that I hope I lit inside of you. When you're strong and driven…it's an amazing thing to behold.
Thank you for being my friend,
He doesn't cry. He can't because he shouldn't. He's not supposed to feel so much over a woman who terrorized his life for months, entered like a virus, ruthless and unrelenting. Frankie doesn't know what they could have been; it hurts to even think about thinking it. It's like an internal bleeding, locked on the inside, unseen to the outer world. Damn it, he's a doctor. He should know how to fix this but it can't get any better because he's alive. He's alive and didn't enter Madison's life early enough to save her.
The ache in his chest, the twist in his gut and the emptiness in his hand only remind him of injustice.
A/N: This is my take on one of the spoilers for this week's episode. A couple of other things happen that weren't included in this story. And some things is this story don't happen at all.